90 SECONDS OF NEW VAN HALEN IS BETTER THAN NO NEW VAN HALEN AT ALL
[UPDATE, 5:10pm: MS reader Mick Stingley informs us that “Blood and Fire” is based on the unreleased VH song “Ripley” from the 1984 sessions. Listen to the “Ripley” demo here.]
[UPDATE #2, 9:32am: OK, “Ripley” was apparently not from the 1984 sessions, although it did appear in the score of the 1984 film The Wild Life.]
I might not be the best judge of quality when it comes to new Van Halen. Whenever I press play I hear the unmistakable sounds of Eddie’s fingers gently caressing a guitar fretboard and DLR’s screechy croon and that’s it, it’s all over, I’m a schoolgirl in love and I give no fucks at all about the outside world.
So naturally I’m pretty amped on this 90-second sample of “Blood and Fire” even though I guess it’s pretty tame-sounding. Some people will probably say the gang vocals sound weak without Michael Anthony, but whatevs, I’m into them. And the always underrated rhythm playing of EVH — everyone always just talks about his leads — is on full display here if you listen for it; the nuanced fretboard dancing in both the verse and underneath the chorus is just so, so… EDDIE!
I’m still kinda lukewarm on VH’s decision to mine old riff tapes for the new record instead of starting new songs from scratch — and I’m not sure if “Blood and Fire” is one of the new songs using recycled b-side riffs — but I’m still pretty optimistic about A Different Kind of Truth. February 7th, but you already knew that.